We live on the non-pragmatic, but wild and wonderful fruits of his Art
Yet another reason why I married John:David Byrne’s latest article has an interesting take on Geoffrey Miller’s The Mating Mind and the idea that art evolved as a kind of display useful for sexual selection ” … to charm, seduce, captivate and enrapture : via artistic work, conversation, language, dance, sport : gives proof to potential mates that not only are we physically appealing, which can be assessed relatively quickly, but that we might have deeper levels of genetic fitness beneath the visible surface.” Another factor he mentions: if the artist can afford to expend time and energy on aesthetic pursuits, for example, the person must be doing OK, that is, they have time and energy left over from basic survival to “waste”.
Of course other displays of status : gift giving, charity, charm and of course money and security : do much the same thing, but what’s interesting about his proposal is how he applies it to the arts, which in no way can be viewed as simple pragmatic survival qualities.
But I’m not really following his perspective on the direction of arts for the masses as a devaluation of craftsmanship or counter-aesthetic movement. Looking up at my wall, I’m struck by an excellent example of mass-produced, accessible,rapidly-created affordable art that retains inherent artistic quality, or whatever it is that makes paint on a canvas Art: my Steve Keene collection! Today, if I can tear a bit of time away from our visiting household of young Bucks, I’m going to take snapshots of each of my recent arrival of MANY new paintings from Steve that will transform the baby room into a wild and woolly snapshot of the artist’s mind.